Peng Shuai has had a video call with the president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach. The IOC said in a statement that Peng said she was safe and well.
Earlier in November, Peng accused a former Chinese Communist party vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli, of alleged sexual coercion three years ago.
Her Weibo social media account has since been disabled and she has not been seen in public for three weeks. That prompted concern around the world, including from professional tennis players, about her safety and whereabouts.
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Chinese state media had released videos on Saturday purportedly showing Peng at dinner, and another appearing to show her at a youth tennis match in Beijing on Sunday.
She has now spoken with Bach, and the IOC has released a statement confirming that fact.
“At the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being," began the statement.
“She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time. That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much.”
The statement added that Bach had invited Peng – alongside Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Emma Terho, and IOC Member in China Li Lingwei – to dinner when he arrives in Beijing in January.
Terho said that Peng appeared relaxed in the same statement.
“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated,” added Terho.
Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are among the tennis stars to speak out over Peng’s apparent disappearance, while WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said on Saturday that he remains concerned for the safety of Peng.
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